Thursday Start Lists: No Phelps in 100 Free Prelims

The startlists are up on, and we’ve got breaking news: Michael Phelps will not swim the 100 free on Thursday.

This is a huge surprise; though he’s got a big day of finals on Thursday evening with the 200 fly, based on 2008 there was a big expectation that he would at least swim this 100 free in the preliminary rounds. The question is if he received some sort of assurances that he would be on the relay even without swimming the 100 free individually.

The rest of the top 30 seeds in the men’s 100 free remain intact.

Other notable scratches include Dana Vollmer out of the women’s 200 fly (which is not a big surprise – this was a pretty obvious backup event). In the men’s 200 breaststroke final, the entire top 30 is expected to race, including Josh Prenot who’s been battling a case of Strep this week.

It should be another quick session.

Full Heat Sheet from USA Swimming.

Men’s 100 free prelims.
Women’s 200 fly prelims.
Men’s 200 breast prelims.


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34 Comments on "Thursday Start Lists: No Phelps in 100 Free Prelims"

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I think there is a small chance he and Bob are concerned about Phelps being able to swim well tomorrow night. Looks like swimming multiple events is taking a greater toll on him than it did 4 years ago.

Definitely. He’s probably not tapered, considering his times are pretty close to what he was doing a fast in-season meets, but in London he won’t be able to cruise as much, and he’ll have relay duty.

He´s not that young anymore.. and except for medley.. the relays will be tougher..

Justin Thompson

The 200FR Final and 200 FLY SF will be a tough double for him in London. Even in Bejing when he was in the best shape of his life and had the suit, both he and Bowman mentioned how Phelps was spent after the 100fly so it’s going to be a tough week for him no doubt.

Andy Dixon,

I agree. I think Bob wants to give more rest for Michael so he could be fresh in the 200 fly. Swimming very well in 200 fly would be necessary to improve his confidence, although he would still get the win easily anyway even if he swims the 100 free.

Many here did not realize that recover at 27 does not come as quick as when you are 19 or 23.

Phelps is clearly not at his best at this meet, so even if he swam the 100 prelims tomorrow, he’d probably be around 48.6-48.8. He’d probably swim decently, but not fast enough to make a statement that he absolutely deserves a spot on the 4×100 free relay.

My guess is that he will swim a time trial at a training camp to prove that he belongs on the 4×100 free relay. Whatever the method, it’s hard to see Phelps being left off the event because he’s been such a critical part of the relay for almost 8 years.

Justin Thompson

That 48.49 he swam earlier this year is good enough to put him on that relay team. Remember in 04 when Gary Hall was crying about Phelps not swimming the 100FR at trials, but they put him on the team based on a time he did in January? Also, BLEE is correct the way he’s swimming now doesn’t appear to be a full taper and he probably wouldn’t be much faster than that.

He’ll be on the relay don’t worry guys, Bowman and Greg Troy talked about this beforhand I’m sure. I’ll bet he was originally planning on swimming an all out effort in prelims tomorrow, but after it looked like he just died on that 200 fly, I’ll bet Bowman was a bit in panic mode.

I think Bowman is a tad bit concerned for his finals in the 2 fly tomorrow night, but more so for his 100 fly the last race. He’ll only get more tired from here on out and he’ll need as much energy and pop as he can possibly have in a short event like that against a hungry field. I’m a little worried myself.

If he can go 50 high.. is gold.. is he goes 51 low… it will be tought.. But I Think matsuda on 200 fly can be a bigger threat to Phelps if he does not swim all he can.

In Garrett’s interview with Bowman last week, Bowman stated that he believed Phelps “already has a spot on the relay” on the strength of a 48.4 he swam earlier this year (see – at 5:20).


True, although Phelps only split 48.8 on that relay, slower than Hall Jr. swam in the prelims (though they likely would have only got the bronze anyway). But I agree that the 48.49 in season should be good enough, except in the unlikely event that 4 guys go alot faster than that, which I think is unlikely, but then he could time trial it. Though if so, I think they should time trial it during this week to simulate how tired and stressed he’ll be at the Olympics.

Mel Stewart predicted that Michael Phelps would swim 47.5 in Omaha.

If he’s really just rested as much as he was for the mid-season meets and he really hits his taper, then based on the 48.49, I could see him at 47.5 at London.

I think Phelps is capable of 47.5, but now that he is training also for 400 IM, I don’t think he will go 47.5 in London.

We will see who’s right.

Also, Mel Stewart specifically mentioned his 100 free prediction for “Omaha”, not “London”

Hey now cut him some slack, he won a gold medal for the butterfly not swimming predictions.

I am actually admiring Mel Stewart for his swimming achievements.


About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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